And we all weathered the pandemic together (even when we were apart). We’d always been able to work flexibly, which was a big selling point for me, but the country-wide mandate to work from home changed the game and we all had to figure out how to be a team remotely.
But in 2022, I faced my biggest and most exciting challenge. One which no number of certifications could prepare me for… I became a mum to my daughter, who arrived in April.
(Yes, I’ve already heard all the jokes about when she’ll become a HubSpot nerd, too…)
Aside from all the learning required to adjust to life with a little one, a big thing on my mind when I left was “my job involves knowing HubSpot inside out… how on earth am I going to keep up with such a rapidly evolving platform after nine months away?” The FOMO was real.
In case we haven’t met…
…I’m Gem and I’ve worked at BabelQuest for over six years now. In my current role, I help clients to scope, build, and maintain a HubSpot portal that works for them and their business goals. In 2019 I had the pleasure of speaking at HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference in Boston. If you’re interested, you can read more about my exploits here.
Keeping in touch through KIT
Luckily, with great support from Becky, our MD and my manager, I’ve hit the formula that works best for me. By spreading out my keep in touch (KIT) days across a schedule that works best for me, I can keep my finger on HubSpot’s pulse as well as catching up with the team around my life as a new mum. This HubSpot nerd isn’t going anywhere.
Here’s how I plan to spend my time. Hopefully it inspires anyone else in a similar boat!
Completing HubSpot certifications
Whether you’re on maternity leave like me or you’re just looking to brush up on your skills, one of the best ways of keeping up to date with HubSpot is through the HubSpot Academy.
There are so many HubSpot certifications, and with new ones being released and others expiring, it’s great to have some time to stay on top of them.
HubSpot is constantly updating its existing products and launching new ones. With so many updates to keep on top of, navigating to the Product Updates area of our portal is always a first stop for me. The section offers a great summary of all the recent releases.
I also like to chat with the rest of the team to see what they’ve been doing differently recently or to ask about all the new betas that have been/are being launched.
Lending my colleagues a helping HubSpot hand
I describe this a bit like being given the daily crossword from the paper. I’ve always loved being given a HubSpot puzzle to solve, and recently there’s the added pleasure of getting to play around on the platform again. As an added bonus (for HubSpot aficionados like me), you get to keep your eyes out for any subtle changes or additions as you go!
Speaking of solving puzzles, on KIT days I’ve been working on contributing to our database of HubSpot Hacks - a Knowledge Base full of ideas around anything from how you can solve daily challenges or transform your business with HubSpot. I’ve built so many solutions for clients over the years and I’m always trying to think up ways of using Hubspot features that go beyond what you would think of doing out-of-the-box, so this is the perfect place to share those! So far I’ve written:
An underutilised resource for those wanting to keep in the know, the HubSpot product pricing page is not just a gateway to increasing your subscription. Being able to scan down the comparison tables helps you to spot any new product features and also anything that has expanded to other subscription tiers or otherwise changed.
Joining training days or key meetings
I plan on coinciding my KIT days with any training days or internal meetings which might help me to keep up to date. I actually dialled in to the team’s recent trip to Dubspot (HubSpot’s Dublin office) and judged a hackathon workshop around custom objects.
Making the most of my maternity leave, worry-free
In equal measure, it feels I’ve been away forever… and not at all. Hopefully that will continue for the rest of the year! I feel so lucky that from the moment I announced I was pregnant I’ve had nothing but excitement and support from both senior management and the wider team — the flexible, supportive culture has never felt so important. It really is like a family.
With six months left before I return I’m really looking forward to those upcoming KIT days and perhaps, most excitingly, my one-month sabbatical, which I’ll be taking in December at the end of maternity. It’s a fantastic reward for all those hours spent working hard for our clients. Now to decide what to do with my newly expanded family for that month…